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20110723
20110723
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in a helicopter crash after a firefight with taliban drug traffickers that also claimed the lives of seven serviceman. on october29th, 2009, the remains of dea special agents forest lehman, chad michael, michael westin, and the fallen united states service members were met by president obama at dover air force base. he honored the men and paid his respects at the dignified transfer ceremony. co-chairman grassley and i wish to convene our deepest condolences to the families of these dea agents that gave their lives fighting narcotics trafficking in afghanistan and hereby enter their obituaries into the record for today's hearing. its hard i think for both of us to realize that we have people who carry out these missions and get killed carrying out these missions, and they do our country great service, and not much is said about it. but this committee wants everyone to know that we very much appreciate that service and we certainly honor it in the best way we can. so i would now like to turn to my co-chairman, senator grassley, for his opening statement. >> thank you for honoring the memory
of international troops. i hope we can all agree that the taliban has morphed into a hybrid. it is one part terrorist organization and one part global drug trafficking organization. for the past today years, virtually every heroin processing lab raided by the dea, special forces, and afghan police has ties to the taliban. what they find is not only large quantities of opium and heroin, but also improvised explosive devices, bomb making materials, and taliban training manuals. in one raid last year, 2056 pounds of high-grade heroin with a wholesale value of $56 million was seized. experts agree it may take many years to get the drug trade in afghanistan under control. as the military begins to scale back its presence this month, i think we have got to ensure that our civilians continue to support counternarcotics efforts in afghanistan. that is really important. a year ago this month, this caucus released a bipartisan report that contained several policy recommendations. i like to highlight the progress being made and what remains to be done. first, the good news. the caucus recommended incr
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